Student Inquiries

Florida International University offers Master's and Doctoral training in the Biological Sciences. Students are chosen from a competitive pool and are financially supported with stipends, tuition waivers, and fellowships. During their studies, students have access to laboratories, field research and travel opportunities.

Starting in the Fall of 2009, I will begin accepting graduate students to work in my laboratory. I am truly excited to help train a new generation of diverse, enthusiastic, and dedicated scientists. My research uses molecular and cellular biology, genomics, and computational science to address questions about microbial and viral ecology in the oceans. My focus is on tropical reefs, but students interested in other marine systems should also consider my lab.

If you are still interested in working in my laboratory please first review the application process, financial aid opportunities, and requirments (see 2008 guidelines below) for the programs. If you meet these criteria and you want to pursue your PhD in my lab, it absolutely essential that you contact me before applying to the program. Please email me a copy of your resume or CV and a brief statement about why you are interested in my laboratory. I will only accept students who are dedicated and serious about graduate studies and who have demonstrated that they will succeed in their endeavors

If Applications for Fall admission are due by the 2nd Friday in February.

Applications for Spring admission are due by the last Friday in August.


• A bachelor's degree

• Official transcripts

• At least 1000 on the GRE

• Minimum GPA of 3.0

• Two letters of recommendation

• A faculty sponsor

• A statement of interest


• A bachelor's degree or a MS in a relevant field

• Official transcripts

• At least 1120 on the GRE

• Minimum GPA of 3.0

• Three letters of recommendation

• A faculty sponsor

• A statement of interest

*Note : Please submit transcripts, GRE scores, and application forms to the University Admissions Office. Submit letters of recommendation, statement of interest and TA application (if necessary) and copies of your TRANSCRIPTS to the Department of Biology (see address below).

FIU Office of Admissions, PO Box 659004, Miami, FL 33265-9004

Advice for those interested in graduate school.

This section is to demystify the process of getting a higher degree. It’s not all easy and it’s not all hard. Sometimes luck, serendipity, and shear brain power play major roles in success, but nothing beats hard work and dedication. So here are some key pieces of advice if you decide that you want to go to graduate school to become a marine biologist.

1) Find the right mentor.

Without a doubt this is the single most important decision when going to graduate school. There are many advisors out there, but not as many mentors. Mentors guide your education and training as a scientist. She or he helps you make the right choices as to how to conduct your research and advance your academic career. They provide financial support for your work and in many cases your training. They direct you to opportunities you may not know about and help you network your field. No advisor is perfect, but finding one you can work and learn from over the 3-7 years is essential for your success.

2) Take and make opportunities.

Once you enter graduate school various opportunities will come your way. Take them. If you receive an offer to work on a research ship for a month, take it cause it will help you in your endeavors, make you more independent, and it will probably be fun. But make opportunities as well. Apply for fellowships, courses, and travel funds. Go to meetings, present, and meet new people in your field.

3) Choose a project you care about.

While my graduate project wasn’t the field I ultimately went into, I sincerely cared about it and felt that it was important and interesting. If you find yourself in the position of completely designing your own dissertation, do something that really drives you. Graduate school can be a long haul and emotionally trying as a result. Having a project that gets you excited to go to work will make it easier.

4) Be an effective scientist.

It is very easy to get distracted in graduate school. But focus and hard work combined will make the experience shorter and ultimately easier. If every student can get 4-5 hours of solid science work done a day then they can progress quickly. Plan what you need to get done a daily, weekly, monthly, semester, and yearly basis. Don't let those personal deadlines fly by.

5) Have a good time.

I loved graduate school. For me it was the time I became who I really am. That sounds weird, but it’s true. I met my husband, made some of the best friends of my life, and learned so much about what I want in life. So enjoy graduate school and don’t waste the time while you're there.